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Department of Molecular Biology

Department of Molecular Biology

Extending the Frontiers of Biology

University of Wyoming’s molecular biology program provides students with the education and research experience needed to excel in biological research and biotechnology. The emergence of molecular biology has blurred the distinctions previously drawn between biochemistry, microbiology, genetics, zoology, and botany by identifying the many common, unifying principles that are the essence of all life forms.  The goal of the Department of Molecular Biology at the University of Wyoming is to introduce students to these principles and undertake fundamental research to extend the frontiers of biology.

But our students are prepared for more than rural America. The world is more complex, and solving problems and being competitive in the work place requires new skills and new solutions. Our molecular biology degree students are educated with tools for success in the 21st Century. They are as comfortable working in the small towns of Wyoming as they are in Los Angeles, Houston, or New York City.


MOLB Happenings

From the Wall Lab
May 30, 2022 – Kalpana Subedi and Mike Weltzer will give invited oral presentations at the 47th Annual International Meeting on the Biology of the Myxobacteria held in La Manga del Mar, Spain.
From the Levy Lab
May 9, 2022 – Welcome Joanna Zaino! Joanna joins our department as a new researcher in the Levy Lab.
MOLB Friday Seminar
May 6, 2022 – Dr. Fred Chang from University of California, San Francisco presents "Life in a crowded environment: regulation of cytoplasmic density and nuclear size"
From the Wall Lab
Publication: May 2, 2022 – Kalpana Subedi and Daniel Wall. “Conditional and Synthetic Type IV Pili-Dependent Motility Phenotypes in Myxococcus xanthus.” Frontiers in Microbiology.
From the Wall Lab
April 30, 2022 – Congratulations! Jack Govaerts, Molecular Biology student in the Wall lab, received the Randall Jay Cohrs Award for the best and most enthusiastic undergraduate talk at American Society for Microbiology Rocky Mtn Branch meeting on April 30, 2022. Kalpana Subedi, a MCLS student in the Wall lab, received the second place award for oral presentation by a graduate student.
MOLB Friday Seminar
April 29, 2022 – Dr. José-Antonio Daròs from CSIC-Universitat Politècnica de València presents "Biotechnological assemblies derived from plant viruses"
MOLB Friday Seminar
April 22, 2022 – Dr. Martin Wühr from Princeton University presents "Proteomic Clues to Cell Organization"
From the Park Lab
April 15, 2022 – Ashley Park, an MS student from the Park lab, was awarded a Student International Research Grant from UW Center for Global Studies. She will be visiting a famous bioinformatics lab in Seoul, Korea this summer. Ashley will start one and a half months in Dr. Seungil Kim’s lab at the University of Seoul to complete her comparative RNAseq analysis to identify stromule regulatory gene network.
MOLB Friday Seminar
April 15, 2022 – Dr. Richard Steet from Greenwood Genetic Center presents "Pushing the Nuclear Envelope: Impact of Lamin B1 Variants in Patients"
MOLB Friday Seminar
April 8, 2022 – Dr. Jamey Marth from Sanford Burnham Prebys presents "Protein Glycosylation in the Origins and Progression of Inflammatory Diseases"
MOLB Friday Seminar
April 1, 2022 – Dr. Marc-Jan Gubbels from Boston College presents "Fussing about fission: untangling apicomplexan cell division plasticity"
Outstanding Staff Award
March 30, 2022 – MOLB's Office Associate, Yana Nightingale, was awarded UW College of Agriculture and Natural Resources' Outstanding Staff Award for 2021-22. This year’s awardees will be recognized at the Spring Awards Dinner on Thursday, April 28th.
From the Department
March 25, 2022 – UW Selects Parag Chitnis, an experienced administrator who has led numerous interdisciplinary research programs for two federal agencies and two land-grant universities, as VP for Research and Economic Development. In addition to his administrative appointment at UW, Chitnis will be a tenured professor in the Department of Molecular Biology.
MOLB Friday Seminar
March 25, 2022 – Dr. Todd Blankenship from University of Denver presents "Why We Are Long: The Biology of Cell and Tissue Shape in Epithelial Sheets"
From the Boothby Lab
March 22, 2022 – UW College of Agriculture & Natural Resources’ Reflections magazine judges selected Thomas Boothby’s article for the Faculty Article Award. “Lessons from Nature: how a microscopic animal is helping to develop new technology for stabilizing pharmaceuticals and for sending humans into deep space.” will be featured in the Ag Experiment Station’s 2022 annual publication, available in print or online soon.
MOLB Friday Seminar
March 11, 2022 – Dr. Rob Woods from University of Georgia presents "The role of spike protein glycosylation in modulating SARS-CoV-2 antigenicity and adhesion"
From the Bowman Lab
March 10, 2022 – Dr. Grant Bowman will travel to the Department of Microbiology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champagne and give a seminar entitled "A Membraneless Compartment Orchestrates Bacterial Cell Polarity".
From the Levy Lab
March 7, 2022 – A new review: Chen, P., Levy, D.L. Regulation of organelle size and organization during development. Invited review for Seminars in Cell and Developmental Biology.
MOLB Friday Seminar
March 4, 2022 – Dr. Richard Roller from University of Iowa presents "Herpesvirus egress from the nucleus: a convoluted membrane story"
From the Jarvis Lab
March 2022 – Don Jarvis will give an invited talk at the annual International Society for BioProcessing Technology meeting in March. This talk will focus on work completed by Christoph Geisler and Ajay Maghodia, working for GlycoBac, and extended by Mark Menghini, working towards his M.S. degree in MOLB. The excellent work done by these three scientists produced a comprehensive analysis of the origin, host range, and biosafety threat associated with a rhabdoviral contaminant of some insect cell lines used as hosts for biologics manufacturing in the baculovirus-insect cell system. As you can imagine, the discovery of this contaminant by an FDA investigator had a major impact in the biotechnology arena and demanded further analysis, which inspired this work. The discovery of this contaminant also inspired our parallel efforts to create a virus-free insect cell line, which is now GlycoBac's major commercial product. This cell line is the subject of multiple materials transfer and licensing agreements, three Jarvis lab publications, and a single author paper by Christoph Geisler. This invited talk will be a great opportunity to highlight Christoph's, Ajay's, and Mark's work and publicly recognize their fine efforts on these projects.
MOLB Friday Seminar
February 25, 2022 – Dr. Breck Duerkop from University of Colorado presents "Enterococcal phage-host interactions and mechanisms of resistance"
MOLB Friday Seminar
February 11, 2022 – Dr. Karla Neugebauer from Yale University presents "Pre-mRNA processing as a regulator of gene output and biomolecular condensation"
MOLB Friday Seminar
February 4, 2022 – Dr. Arash Komeili from UC Berkeley presents "Discovery of novel organelles mediating iron homeostasis in bacteria and archaea"
From the Fay & Levy Labs
February 2022 – Dr. Owen Funk will be joining the department in February as a joint postdoc between the Fay and Levy labs.
From the Boothby Lab
January 30, 2022 – "Evolve", a new documentary series is live on CuriosityStream. Some episodes highlight the Boothby lab's important work on tardigrades here at their UW lab, in the Red Desert, at the Kennedy Space Center and beyond to the International Space Station! The Boothby lab talks about how we might use what we learn from these animals to protect and stabilize things like vaccines.
'Top Profs'
January 29, 2022 – Bridget Decker and Kassandra Willingham were selected by UW Mortar Board Chapter Honors included as 'Top Profs' and honored at a dinner hosted by UW President Seidel.
MOLB Friday Seminar
January 28, 2022 – Dr. Jun (Kelly) Liu from Cornell University presents "A tale of small and long worms: bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) signaling in C. elegans"
From the Levy Lab
Publication: January 11, 2022 – Jevtic, P., Elliott, K.W., Watkins, S.E., Sreter, J.A., Jovic, K., Lehner, I.B., Baures, P.W., Tsavalas, J.G., Levy, D.L.*, Varga, K.* (2022). An insect antifreeze protein from Anatolica polita enhances the cryoprotection of Xenopus laevis eggs and embryos. Journal of Experimental Biology, jeb.243662. doi: 10.1242/jeb.243662. *Corresponding authors.
January 2022 – Dan Levy is serving as guest editor for a research topic on nuclear morphology.
From the Jarvis Lab
January 2022 – The Jarvis lab recently achieved a milestone with its 125th publication. Moreover, this was nicely accentuated by the selection of this paper as an "Editor's Pick" in the first issue of Volume 298 of the JBC in January of 2022. Please see Mabashi-Azasuma, H. and Jarvis, D.L. 2022. A new insect cell line engineered to produce recombinant glycoproteins with cleavable N-glycans. J. Biol. Chem. 298:101454. doi Champagne is in (and on) order!
January 2022 – Mark Menghini has completed the bench work associated with his M.S. studies and is now writing his thesis and a manuscript for submission to the Journal of Virology. This paper will also include some work previously completed by Christoph Geisler and Ajay Maghodia, working for GlycoBac. This paper will document the source of the Sf-rhabdovirus contaminant associated with some insect cell lines, its host range, and its impact on the biosafety level associated with the baculovirus-insect cell system. Mark's work specifically addresses the biosafety issue associated with this contaminant, which he assessed in detail using RAG2IL2R(-/-) mice in collaboration with the Gigley lab. We thank Jason for his efforts on this project, which were key to Mark's ability to complete the in vivo portion of the work.
From the Gigley Lab
December 2021 – Dr. Jason Gigley U.S. Fulbright Scholar on sabbatical to the Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciencia. Dr. Gigley left in December to join the lab of Dr. Miguel Soares and Jonathan Howard in Lisbon Portugal at the Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciencia. While there on sabbatical he will study mechanisms of disease tolerance and nutritional immunity during sepsis, malaria and Toxoplasmosis.
From the Levy Lab
Publication: December 8, 2021 – "Nuclear Transport Factor 2 (NTF2) suppresses WM983B metastatic melanoma by modifying cell migration, metastasis, and gene expression" by Lidija D. Vuković, Pan Chen, Sampada Mishra, Karen H. White, Jason P. Gigley, Daniel L. Levy
December 1 - 10, 2021 – The lab will participate in the online meeting of the ASCB (American Society for Cell Biology) Chase Wesley will present a talk and Sampada Mishra will present a poster.
From the Wall Lab
Featured Publication: December 7, 2021 – "Emergent Myxobacterial Behaviors Arise from Reversal Suppression Induced by Kin Contacts" featured on the cover of the ASM journal mSystems and done in collaboration with Rice University. Authors: Rajesh Balagam, Pengbo Cao, Govind P. Sah, Zhaoyang Zhang, Kalpana Subedi, Daniel Wall, Oleg A. Igoshin
From the Gatlin Lab
December 1, 2021 – Zach Geisterfer, a fifth-year MCLS student in the Gatlin Lab, successfully defended his dissertation in early December. He will be heading out in mid-February to do a postdoc in Gladfelter lab at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
From the Jarvis Lab
After a year in training as co-Editor in Chief, Don Jarvis will become Editor in Chief of Protein Expression and Purification starting Jan 1.
Publication: November 21, 2021 – Mabashi-Asazuma, H. and Jarvis, D.L. A new insect cell line engineered to produce recombinant glycoproteins with cleavable N-glycans. J. Biol. Chem., in press 11/21/21. doi
Publication: October 16, 2021 – Maghodia, A.B., Geisler, C., and Jarvis, D.L. 2021. A new bacmid for customized glycosylation pathway engineering in the baculovirus-insect cell system. ACS Chem. Biol. 16:1941-1950. doi: 10.1021/acschembio.0c00974.

Our Seminars

The Molecular Biology Department’s Seminar Program is one of the very best on campus. We make a strong effort to bring in visiting scientists who can provide an entertaining, enlightening, and current research report on an important area of molecular biology.

The MOLB Friday Seminar series has concluded for the Spring 2022 semester. Please visit our seminar page for information on past seminars or come back soon to learn about our Fall 2022 speaker line-up.

Speaker: Fred Chang, Department of Cell & Tissue Biology, University of California, San Francisco

Seminar: Life in a crowded environment: regulation of cytoplasmic density and nuclear size

Date: May 6, 2021

Time: 2:10 p.m.

Location: Berry Center Auditorium - Room 138

Location: Animal Science/Molecular Biology Room 103 or via Zoom (email for the link)

Sick? Quarantined? DO NOT ATTEND IN PERSON - USE ZOOM (email for the link)

  3/4/2022 seminar flyer


Contact Us

Molecular Biology
University of Wyoming
Department #3944
1000 E. University Ave.
Laramie, WY 82071
Phone: (307) 766-3300
Fax: (307) 766-5098

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